How is AL amyloidosis diagnosed?

Early diagnosis of AL amyloidosis is key, as it can promote early treatment thereby  preventing further organ damage. Different tests may be run to diagnose amyloidosis:

  • Laboratory tests. Blood and urine tests may detect an abnormal amount of protein. Depending on the symptoms, tests may be indicated to investigate kidney, heart, thyroid or liver function.
  • Imaging test. These are scans of different types which will indicate the extent of the disease. Special testing of specific organs, such as an echocardiogram and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for heart function, could be indicated.
  • Biopsy. It consists of taking a small piece of tissue from the patient. It is usually taken from the skin of the stomach area (abdominal fat biopsy) or the rectum, or occasionally the organ affected by amyloid deposits.

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